The Democratic Socialism

I did not want to write a third consecutive reflection, but I can not leave that for Monday.

There is one accurate response to Bush’s “democratic capitalism”: Chávez’s democratic socialism. There wouldn’t be a more accurate way to express the big contradiction that exists between North and South in our hemisphere, between the ideas of Bolivar and those of Monroe.

Bolivar’s great merit was having stated so at a time when modern communication media did not exist -not even the Panama Canal did. There was no US imperialism. There were just the English speaking Thirteen Colonies which, united, gained their independence in 1776 with the support of France and Spain.

The Liberator, as if he were capable of seeing through centuries ahead of his own time, proclaimed in 1829: “The United States seems destined by Providence to plague America with misery in the name of liberty.”

Hugo Chávez is a Venezuelan soldier. In his mind, Bolivar’s ideas germinated only naturally. Suffice it to observe the way in which his thinking went through different political stages, starting from his humble origin, the school, the military academy, his readings of History, the reality of his country and the humiliating presence of the Yankee domination.

He was not a General; he didn’t have any armed institution under his command. He didn’t perpetrate a coup d’état; nor could he do so. He did not want to wait; nor could he. He rebelled himself; he took up full responsibility for the events and turned the prison into a school. He conquered the sympathy of the people and gained their support for his cause while being out of government. He won the elections under a bourgeois Constitution. He took an oath under that agonizing document and swore allegiance to a new Constitution. He clashed with both right and left preconceived ideas and started the Bolivarian Revolution in the midst of the most difficult subjective conditions in the whole Latin America.

For ten years, from the presidency of his country, he has not ceased to sow ideas inside and outside his homeland.

No honest person should have any doubt that in Venezuela there is a true Revolution in progress, and there is also an exceptional struggle that is being waged against imperialism.

It is worth mentioning that Chávez does not rest, not even for a single minute. He struggles inside Venezuela and at the same time he systematically travels to the capitals of the Latin American countries as well as important nations of Europe, Asia and Africa.

He keeps permanent communication, hour after hour, with the national and international press. He is not afraid to address any issue; he is listened to with respect by the main leaders in the world. He makes a correct and efficient use of the real power his country has -the biggest proven oil reserves in the world, in addition to abundant gas- and he is designing an unprecedented national and internationalist program.

With the signing of an association agreement between Gazprom, from Russia, and PDVSA, from Venezuela for the prospecting and exploitation of hydrocarbons, he created a consortium in that field that is equal to no one in the world. His economic association with China and Russia, some countries of Europe and others of Latin America and Africa with abundant resources, has released the liberating forces that will pave the way towards a multipolar world. He did not exclude the United States from the energy supply or the commercial exchange programs. That is an objective and balanced conception.

He thinks about a socialist revolution for his own homeland, without excluding important productive factors. At this historical juncture, after being hit by Nature and the criminal ravages of the decadent empire, our country is truly privileged to be able to count on Chávez’s solidarity.

We never heard a more internationalist and fraternal phrase as the one he said to our people: “The country of Venezuela is also your country!”

Imperialism is trying to get rid of him politically or eliminate him physically no matter the cost, without realizing that his death would be a catastrophe for Venezuela as well as for the economy and stability of all other governments of Latin America and the Caribbean.

My conversations with him are characterized by one point of view I defend: at this point in time, the most important thing is to save Venezuela from the political onslaught of the US government. During his last visit we discussed the magnitude of the assistance he is giving to us as well as the assistance he wishes to give to us, and our suggestion that he should concentrate the biggest possible amount of resources on the domestic battle that he is waging today against the offensive launched by the media and the conditioned reflexes that imperialism has been creating for many years.

Starting from now until November 23, the battle to be waged will be of great transcendence, and we don’t want his support to Cuba to be used as a pretext to damage the Bolivarian Revolution.

The 92 Venezuelan construction workers who are members of the Socialist Voluntary Work Brigades, who were sent to build houses in Pinar del Río, are a symbol of our times.

We are living through very important moments. The popular referendum to approve the new Constitution in Ecuador the day after tomorrow will be of great significance. Chávez will meet with President Lula in Brazil on Monday. Tonight there is a televised debate between Obama and McCain. These are all important news.

That is why I did not want to leave the writing of these lines for Monday. Tomorrow Saturday, Chávez will be back to his country and on Sunday he will be addressing his people. He always makes use of some excerpts of these reflections in his battle.

Fidel Castro Ruz
September 26, 2008